While Pittsburgh isn't exactly considered "Mid-Atlantic", I think enough of our members, including myself, have visited this jewel of a conservatory, that we could have a thread with photos from our visits. Please feel free to add your own pictures here any time! And to those who haven't been there yet, we hope this piques your interest as a great spot to visit if you're in that area. In addition to the spectacular conservatory and outdoor gardens, it's got a lovely gift shop and a cafe which focuses on eco-friendly and sustainable fare. Having enjoyed lunch there a number of times, I can say this only adds to the time spent there.
As soon as you enter the conservatory, your eye will be drawn to the the amazing "chandelier" piece, by noted glass artist, Dale Chihuly, hanging from the top of the atrium. The Phipps hosted a show of his works from May 2007 to February 2008. That show was absolutely amazing. Fortunately, for those who couldn't make it, there are a number of his pieces from that exhibit now permanently on display in the conservatory.
These photos were taken on a visit in February 2009.
We had a special day to be sure and we have never visited Phipps at Christmas, but since we live half way between Phipps and Longwood Gardens, 3-4 hours and about the same tolls, I would say I prefer Longwood's displays the best.
I'm thinking Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden next year with maybe a stop at the The United States Botanic Gardens in Washington DC. Ric
Loretta, I think I only heard of it when I saw the publicity for the Chihuly show. Now, I try to stop there any time we're in the area. DH's company has an office in Pittsburgh, so I've tagged along to meetings, though that hasn't happened in quite a few years now, BUT... he has an annual Kentucky Rifle meeting just north of Pittsburgh every year in June, so a stop on the way home is always on the agenda.
Don't know how far it would be for you, but it's worth a trip. There's also a nice zoo/aquarium in the area to round out the visit.
Great photos! I grew up with Phipp's conservatory... we lived fairly far out in the 'burbs but made it in I'd guess at least once a year. I was lucky enough to see the Chihuly show there, and being familiar with the standing exhibits made the transformation with the glass pieces all the more magical.
I'm perpetually trying to catch up on organizing photos, but I'll be back when I come across some Phipps files! :-)